2019-01-02 Any Comparison
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Summary||Rodimus and Prowl discuss assassins and security.|
Autobot, Decepticon, Neutral: hospital waiting rooms are all the same, even when they are overflowing with bristling, over-compensating security forces and a greedy, hungry swarm of media. Rodimus is seated in a chair with energon dried across his frame where he helped bring Soundwave here, only to be kicked out while the cassettes were allowed on through to watch and support the repairs. Soundwave's -- fine. He'll be fine. He's stable, past the first crisis, and the medics are just finalizing repairs and making sure his new lines are stable. Rodimus is mostly not doing anything, not looking at anything, leaning forward in the seat with his elbows on his knees, arms threading past the points of his armor, and hands loosely clasped. He stares at the shadow where they join.
Prowl is wearing his coldest, frostiest face as he muscles through the press. "Was it bloody enough for you then?" he growls at a camera. "Let's give the Eukarian a little more air time so we can set ourselves back a few million years!"
He continues to bark and insult until bright armor pulls his attention away, and he beelines for Rodimus. "I don't know why I didn't think something like this would happen. Of course it would. Is he alright? I heard this Flashwing was a crewmate. What exactly were your prerequisites?"
"Jumpstart," Rodimus corrects -- then, making a face, reverses. "Flashwing now, I guess." He lifts his head to Prowl, but his gaze moves past him to the rows of cameras hungry for a snippet, for a headline. He switches to internal comms with a crackle of static, using old Autobot command encryption from when he actually belonged to it. It might take Prowl a moment to unscramble: << "It was always going to happen. I just didn't want it to be him. I didn't want it to be so soon. I didn't want it to be an Autobot. She took off her badge, you know? But it back on for this. The slagger." >>
Prowl's features tilt distracted for a moment as he searches for the right digital key. He finds a seat beside Rodimus, leering at the cameras. << "You wanted a Decepticon to attempt to kill some no-name Autobot instead?" >> His confused stare seems just a little judgy.
<< "No!" >> Rodimus's spoiler angles back, sharp, then flattens as he glares at Prowl. << "Shut up." >> The media, dying, struggles to translate the looks and body language into something they can work with. << "She could've left her badge off." >>
Prowl looks away, either to throw off the media or to avoid the glare. << "Just trying to sort out your strange angle. I imagine she wanted to further the divide. To dash this whole process. Or just... honor her fallen comrades. I don't know. I don't want her interviewed, but I'll bet the press is going to tell her whole tragic story. Is Soundwave going to resume? How much did he have left?" >>
<< "She's not going to have much luck telling her story from the bottom of a pit." >> Rodimus is just a touch nasty about her fate. Big pit. Deep bit. BOTTOMLESS PIT. << "He'll finish. He'll finish just so people can't say this whole thing was a ploy for him to get out of the worst, or to build sympathy, or whatever stupid thing some idiot is going to say." >> He's unusually agitated by the attempt, and it makes him sharp in ways he isn't, usually. << "He still has to address the pogroms." >>
Prowl keeps his helm forward, but pulls his gaze to the corner of his optic to study Rodimus' profile. Prowl couldn't blame him for his attitude. << "...I wish it wasn't Soundwave, too. We're ramping up security. All compartments will be searched, and any piece of armor that could look like it may be used to pierce. So, you might have to go without your knees and your sorry excuse for a chevron," >> he says, tone light. Maybe it's the wrong time to tease. He seems aimless. << "What do you know about the pogroms?" >>
Rodimus looks like he's thinking about being outraged, but he reaches out to poke his own knee -- poke, poke -- and then makes a face. << "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard." >> And he'll absolutely go along with it. << "Maybe they'll tie yours into a bow." >> Not that it doesn't already look like one, sometimes.
The whisper of teasing can't last in the face of the darker subject. Rodimus sobers. << "More than I did about Grindcore." >> He hesitates, then he says, << "After Nyon ... fell, there were a lot of people who didn't trust either side. And we were too poor to get off the planet. Most of them stayed neutral. Those that survived." >>
Prowl smiles faintly. << "I'll dull the edges. I'm not taking off my damn chevron. It helps my image." >>
He looks thoughtful. << "It wasn't just Soundwave. I hope you remember that. Our enemy is dead, so he can't share the spotlight. Soundwave is wise enough to stand up there and take at least some of the blame. Not that Soundwave doesn't deserve the hatred. I'm just saying he's taking an awful lot of it because he was Megatron's right-hand mech. Or left. I don't know. What was Starscream supposed to be again?" >>
<< "An idealistic, wide-eyed innocent, manipulated by Megatron, seduced by his words--" >> Rodimus looks a little like he's going to purge his tanks. :rodhork: << "He's totally already started laying the groundwork for his turn on the stand. I heard he's shopping a book deal. Anyway -- I do. I remember that. But I also remember that it was him. Soundwave, Starscream, and Shockwave are all we have left, now, to answer for the Decepticons. I wonder what difference it's going to make that Shockwave's going up there after having his Shadowplay undone." >>
<< "A book deal," >> Prowl repeats, incredulous. The cameras can capture both of them looking nauseous. << "I'm trying to cheer you up, damnit, I'm well aware of what Soundwave did. I spent many cycles trying to plan around him." >> He turns slightly, doors lopsided. << "Shockwave's unshadowplayed? When did this happen? What's... Uh, how is he?" >>
<< "Happening," >> Rodimus says. << "Will happen, is happening. I don't know. Not done yet, though. It's a process, or whatever. You can thank Trailbreaker for it. Or don't, if he unleashes an even crazier Shockwave on us all. But he won't be able to give his statements until that's been undone, either, so he'll probably be one of the last." >> He threads his fingers together, tugging them. << "Assuming we get that far, and no other morons try to blow it up." >> He so mad.
<< "They're not all morons, Rodimus. The majority are sitting. Watching. Quietly judging. They're willing to listen! I know it's hard to be thankful for, but I didn't think we'd get this far. No one's going to blow up anything. I'll be going over Garrus-9, I've every reason to protect my aft. Do you remember how angry you were with the Autobots? With Zeta?" Prowl asks.
Strange as it is, Prowl manages to blunt Rodimus's anger, although he's quite far from easing it entirely. << "They haven't judged, yet. That's going to be the real test: how people react when Soundwave's not killed for this." >> He's quieter now, weary, the anger running from him: << "I hope we're tired of death." >> Studying Prowl, Rodimus says, << "Of course I remember." >> He's clearly waiting for the other half of Prowl's point.
Prowl ends up wincing, but he presses on. << "You were forced to act. I think, in your case, revealing Zeta's crimes to Orion in the way you did was the right thing to do. Flashwing's attempt helped no one, but maybe it was all she could think to do. Do you feel like you had no choice, in Nyon?" >>
<< "My city was dying," >> Rodimus says, flat, refusing to allow for any comparison. << "Flashwing's are already dead. And I know that's cruel. But they're dead, and nothing she can do will bring them back, and all she did was threaten someone I love and the only thing that might bring us a real peace. So I'm not gonna feel bad for her. I'm just not. You can't let this fail, Prowl. I won't let her let it fail, either." >>
"Tch," Prowl slips, and the cameras click-click-click. He snarls at them. << "Okay. Feel angry. It's under control, alright? It's not going to unravel. Besides, all of this makes for sensational media. The galaxy loves the gossip." >> He stands and turns. << "Do you want me to bring anything back for you or Soundwave?" >>
Rodimus can't help but smirk as Prowl's baited by the cameras. His expression is lopsided, touched with sympathy. He pats Prowl's knee. (Click.) << "No. Thanks, though. Just -- thanks. Let me know if you need anything. And don't worry, I'll tackle anyone who tries to attack you too, although I might have to climb over Minimus to get there." >>
Prowl considers Rodimus, and then the shiny lenses. He folds his arms, jutting his jaw in thought. Then, aloud, and clear, "Yes, Minimus Ambus, Ex-Tyrest Enforcer, the point one percenter with the Ununtrium skeleton, who I am in a relationship with, will be present at my hearing and will brook no interruption. See you later, Rodimus."
Rodimus is left behind in a better mood, at least, if the minor explosion of laughter he struggles to contain is any indication. If nothing else, Prowl has a career ahead of him as a comedian.